In the late 1980s, CNC programming of complex components was a difficult, lengthy process. Then Bruno Marko and Gérard Billard, the driving forces behind Sescoi, pioneered the development of a reliable and automatic 3-axis CAM system. WorkNC was launched in 1988. Now, 20 years later, the software has evolved into a world-leading CAD/CAM solution for 2- through 5-axis machining.
Over the years, Sescoi has stuck to the original philosophy behind WorkNC: to speed up tool-path calculations, ensure optimum reliability for machining directly into hard materials, and maximize ease of use so that programming can be carried out on the shop floor. Automation is a theme that runs through the development history of the software.
“WorkNC’s aim has always been to be the closest thing possible to ’single-button’ CAM,” says CEO Bruno Marko.
R&D Innovation Manager Gérard Billard notes that few companies, in percentage terms, are equipped with 5-axis machining centres. Thus, there is a high potential for growth in that market.
The WorkNC 5-axis system, first developed in 2001, includes a full range of tools such as machine simulation and tool-path editing to generate risk-free cutter paths. Auto 5, unique to WorkNC, came next. It automatically transforms 3-axis tool paths into 5-axis movements, bringing 5-axis programming within the grasp of more manufacturers. WorkNC’s 5-axis capabilities have been extended in WorkNC G3, representing the third generation of the software, which was launched last year.
At the end of 2007, WorkNC was the most widely used CAM system in Japan for the third year running, according to the annual survey of Japanese die and mould makers conducted by the newspaper Nikkan Kogyo. It has achieved prominence worldwide in a range of industries.
Sescoi’s turnover today exceeds €20 million. The company continues to invest heavily in developing WorkNC, allocating €2.5 million in 2006 to its development centres in Europe and Japan. WorkNC is marketed through eight subsidiaries in France, Germany, the USA, the UK, Japan, Spain, India, and China, as well as an extensive distributor network.
“We are constantly working on new strategies and calculation algorithms to improve tolerances, times, knowledge management, and hence ease of use,” concludes Gérard Billard. “Collaborating with users and reacting rapidly to their requirements will continue to drive the evolution of WorkNC.”